CLA handbook AQA A

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Language Development
It has been suggested that language development may begin in the womb. A study by
Fitzpatrick found that the heart of an unborn baby would slowwhen hearing its mother's
Pre-verbal Stage
The first main vocal expression a baby will make is cryingwhich is an instinctive response to
how they feel.
Crying makes the caregiver aware that the
baby needs something and could be used
to signify hunger, discomfort or pain.
Cooing Stage

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At this stage, babies start to exercise their mouthand start to learn how to move their lips
and tongue in order to create sounds.…read more

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When they babble and do not repeat the sounds, this is called variegated babbling.
It is argued that babbling is a continuation of sound experimentation and that the sounds
still do not carry meaning.
The number of
phonemes a child in the
babbling stage uses
increases which is
called phonemic
After this phonemic contraction occurs when the child reduces the amount of phonemes
they use and start to use those in their native language.
There are 44 phonemes in the English language.…read more

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meaning they want more food
These are called proto-words. Sound and meaning start to come together around 10
`Ma-ma' meaning mum
Children should be able to use all of the vowels in the English language by the time they are
2 and a half years old. Confidence with consonants won't happen until around 6 or 7 years
old.…read more

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There are other common features in phonological development that help a child pronounce
words.…read more

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Intonation patterns...
Cruttenden 1985 found that it was hard for children to fully understand how complex
intonation is.…read more

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These functions are used so the child can satisfy their social, emotion and physical needs.
The next 3 are to help the child come to terms with their environment.…read more

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Halliday 1975 7 functions of child's language
Children learn to interact before they can speak and learn social conventionthrough
interaction with their caretaker's. `Peek-a-boo' teaches turn-taking.
Caretakers will talk to babies as they babble as though it is a real conversation which
teachers they child how to have a conversation.
As they develop their language they will start to use more sophisticated interactions and be
able to start conversations, use opening and closing sequences and politeness features.…read more

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Whilst a child can only use around 50 words at 18 months, they can understand around
Their first words normally relate to their immediate surroundings.
Words that express
concepts appear when the child becomes more self-aware.…read more

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Rescorla 1980 found 2 types of overextension
Categorical Analogical
Overgeneralisation is when a child applies a
grammatical rule incorrectly which is seen
as a virtuous error as everyone does it and
it is a natural process.…read more


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